November 2014 - Avebury CC

Congratulations on winning Wiltshire League Division 3 in 2014! It was a pretty comprehensive result in the end but was it as simple as it looked?

Thank you. The points make it look easy at the end, but for us it never is. We are a pretty small club relying on cricketers from all over the area looking for something a bit different from a cricket club. We’re talking about players with families and commitments that often mean that cricket is NOT the sole focal point of the Summer! Availability week-to-week is always a challenge, but this year was fantastic.

What were your aspirations at the beginning of the year?

To be back in Division 2 cricket in 2015; and to be challenging to return to Division 1 by the end of the 2015 season. To remain injury free, and to carry on playing cricket in a World Heritage Site. We have the benefit of playing in front of lots of people every weekend; but we have the challenges of higher insurance premiums due to footfall around the ground; the requirement to have an archaeologist present if we ever need to dig the ground (including relaying the square a couple of years ago); and making sure that we combine the needs of a modern sports ground with the objectives of the National Trust, who ultimately own the ground at Avebury.

It certainly looks a gorgeous place to play! Losing the first game of the season to Corsham 3s was an early setback, especially with the second game being cancelled. How did you bounce back and what did you focus on come week 3?

We adopted the words of Dr Bob Rotella in his best-selling book "Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect" where he talks about a bad first hole being no worse than turning out of your drive in the morning to work and heading in the wrong direction. In other words, not a disaster, and easily remedied by keeping the end objective in sight.

Very profound and clearly effective! You won 11 of your 13 victories by batting first and 6 of those were by more than 100 runs. Was that a predetermined strength of the side going into the season or did it just work out that way?

Purely accidental. Normally this side likes to field first so it can over-eat at tea, and polish off the remains in a leisurely fashion whilst the run-chase is on.

Good to see that the old fashioned focus on a solid tea is still alive and well! Dominic Fry finished the summer by reeling off 3 successive centuries - something in the water your way?!

He claims he was dropped around 11 times across those 3 innings, so will take no plaudits. He also plays 50-odd games of cricket a year, so he's bound to get lucky sooner or later. His main focus is on scoring runs quickly to give everyone else a bat.

Other than Dominic's hot streak were there other individual performances that stood out this year?

On the batting front, 8 players averaged over 20 this year; and 5 averaged 30 or more. A genuine team effort with very few "group failures". No Club could ask for more from its middle and lower order. Bruce Crook, Greg Dix, and Monish Bharwal were outstanding. Greg and Bruce in particular are absolutely stalwarts of the Club, put their hands up for everything, and have held things together for the Club when we went through difficult times in the past couple of years.

On the bowling front, Dean Roodt was our overseas player for the season.  He bowled reasonably sharply and, despite not being at the top of our bowling averages, was a differentiating factor for us, and allowed bowlers at the other end to take wickets.

Have you started thinking about next year yet? How do you see it panning out? What are your key challenges likely to be?

Between now and April we will do what many small clubs do – which is to worry about the starting XI for the first week in May 2015!

Our wicket-keeper / opening bat, Dave Russell, may well be leaving us to go and play at Bishops Cannings.  Two of our players are heading to India. That creates a hole in our side that we hope to address over the Winter. This will not be easy as they are all big players for us.

We hope to have another overseas player in 2015 and will look to him to lead our side on all fronts.

Away from performances on the pitch, tell us a little more about the club and its history?

We were formed around 25 years ago by the current President, David Scattergood. For most of our history we have been a Sunday cricket club, entering the Wiltshire league in 2002 and rising from Division 5 to Division 1 in 2006. We have one Saturday side and one Sunday side; up to 50% of our Saturday team play on Sunday too.

We began junior cricket coaching in 2014, assisted by Gregor Macmillan, a housemaster at Marlborough College and former first class cricketer with Leicestershire.

Our coaching is very different from what a larger club would offer - the emphasis is on fun, fun

As with any club I am sure there are some key figures who are instrumental to the ongoing success of the club - who are Avebury's unsung heroes?

Our web-site ( provides a long list of Vice Presidents of the Club, who through financial contributions make an enormous difference and ease the financial burden that weighs heavy on us every year.

On the bowling front, Pete Force-Jones is a man whose bowling action produces laughter and wickets in equal measure.  5,700 wickets in 23 years tells a story.

A final mention should go to  our pantomime bull, pictured here, who is a valuable source of prize fighting income for the club.

Nice! And finally, here's our Quick Singles:

How long has the club been in existence?

25 years. But the village is 4,500 years old. Our players are somewhere in between. Many visiting tourists to Avebury are unclear whether the cricket came before the Stones, or vice versa. To be fielding on the Northern boundary of the ground on a Summer’s day, listening for example to an American describing to a German what is going on in the game, is one of the delights of playing here.

Describe the club in 3 words?

Competitive, Friendly, Quirky.

Who were your best batter / bowler / fielder in 2014?

Batting – Dom Fry.

Bowling – Dean Roodt and Pete Force-Jones in tandem was an awesome sight.

Fielding – John Rheinberg’s previous sporting career as Wiltshire Hockey’s Goalkeeper still allows him to pull off outrageous catches.

What is the proudest club moment to date?

Relaying half of the square in 2010 at a cost of £10,000 to develop top-class playing surface for Saturday Cricket.

Who was your toughest opponent this year?

Wootton Bassett 2. Some amazing young players playing there.

Where were the best teas in the league this year?

Our own - without a shadow of a doubt. Teas at Avebury are way, way more competitive than the cricket. But the hospitality shown by ALL opposition sides this year has been one of the true delights of the Summer.

Nicest ground you played at this year?

Seagry is a beautiful spot.

Which club had the best showers in Division 3?

Wanborough CC. Hands down.

And finally...if you could sign any player in world cricket for 2015 who would you get?

Balapuwaduge Ajantha Winslow Mendis. Still has the ability to make people look silly. Always has a smile on his face.